South Africa partners with Russa on nuclear energy

Today in Vienna South Africa signed an agreement with Russia on strategic partnership and co-operation over nuclear energy. The agreement is for the provision of up to eight large-scale nuclear power plants (NPP) to be constructed in South Africa in a deal that could reach around $50 billion.  

The aim is to create in South Africa a full-scale nuclear cluster of a world leader’s level – from the front-end of nuclear fuel cycle up to engineering and power equipment manufacturing –  and from the start the creation of thousands of jobs.  Plus in the future allow for the implementation of joint nuclear power projects in Africa and third countries.

The Agreement lays the foundation for the large-scale nuclear power plants (NPP) procurement and development programme of South Africa based on the construction in RSA of new nuclear power plants with Russian VVER reactors with total installed capacity of up to 9,6 GW (up to 8 NPP units). These will be the first NPPs based on the Russian technology to be built on the African continent.

The agreement was signed by the Russian Director General of State Corporation Rosatom Sergey Kirienko and Minister of Energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson. Besides the joint construction of NPPs, the agreement provides for comprehensive collaboration in other areas of the nuclear power industry, including construction of a Russian-technology based multipurpose research reactor, assistance in the development of South-African nuclear infrastructure, education of South African nuclear specialists in Russian universities and other areas.

The joint implementation of this programme implies a broad localisation of equipment for the new NPPs, which will provide for brand-new development of various areas of South-African high-tech industries, contribute to creation of a new highly skilled workforce and will allow South-African companies to further participate in Rosatom’s projects in third countries.

Kirienko said he was convinced that in co-operation with Russia, South Africa will gain all necessary competencies for the implementation of this large-scale national nuclear energy development programme. “But at the start co-operation will be guided at providing conditions for the  creation of thousands of new jobs and placing of a considerable order to local industrial enterprises worth at least 10 billion US dollars”, Rosatom’s Sergey said.

According to Joemat-Pettersson South Africa is interested in the massive development of nuclear power, which is an important driver for the national economy growth. “I am sure co-operation with Russia will allow us to implement our ambitious plans for the creation by 2030 of 9,6 GW of new nuclear capacities based on modern and safe technologies.

“This agreement opens up the door for South Africa to access Russian technologies, funding, infrastructure, and provides a proper and solid platform for future extensive collaboration,”  Joemat-Pettersson added.

The agreement was signed on the margins of the 58th session of the International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference.


Source: Department of Energy

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